I decided to hop in. This is one of the ideas that was sitting in my drawer for quite some time. I'm thinking - participating in the compo could be a good opportunity to actually prototype it.Visuals:
Here's the mockup/sketch showing the look and giving some hints about the possible features:
And here's the screenie of the current state of the game (platform mechanic and movement is fully operational now as well as the map generation):Story:
A cargo airplane crashed somewhere above the wast areas of the Amita range. It was carrying a large shipment of beagles headed to the CutLab, a huge animal testing facility.
The Lab is upset about losing it's precious testing material and is deploying a biohazard division determined to reclaim it's property. They operate under the strict orders: seize the usable specimens, kill the rest.
We're sending three of our elite animal rights activists to rescue as many dogs as possible before the Lab's grunts confine them back to the life of endless misery.Mechanics:
Basically, it's a side scrolling platformer. The map scrolls automatically at the constant speed (think Scramble) and the player need to negotiate the terrain to advance.
I'd like to keep it simple, more like a minigame. You need to collect the beagles and avoid the bad guys. There'll probably be some way to fend off the baddies.
More info on the mechanics in following posts.
This is my first attempt at something platformey. If somebody is tempted to accuse me of ripping of the you know what and the you know what else, I don't really mind. When you're learning, learn from the best, me sez
Seriously though, beside the obvious, I'd like to reference two great games from the 8 bit era that I think were my main visual and gameplay inspiration for this (conscious at least though the connection might not be obvious): The Sentinel
and River Raid
. Both excellent examples of procedurally generated game worlds although in quite a different way.Procedural:
As it can probably be deduced from the mockup, I'm not forcing the procedural generation just for the sake of it. Rather, it'll be used as a complementary tool on top of the hand made content.
The main thing that's generated is the map which can extend to infinity. At first I've built a demo with perlin-based procedural maps having a lot of various terrain features. It was even meant to be isometric, more like Sentinel (screenie here
). This proved to be too confusing to play on with the movement mechanics I had in mind. I had to reduce it to a much simpler tile based system. It's not only easier to grasp and navigate but it's looking a lot better too.
The map is generated using the Markov chain. The algorithm is fed a short human made terrain sequence. It then goes on and produce a map of any size mimicking the structure of the input.
That's it for now. Hopefully, I'll finish it by the deadline. At least to some degree.
** Double edit:Download beta (updated with online high scores, extra lives and other goodies)